Limitations and improvements of the energy balance closure with reference to experimental data measured over a maize field



The use of energy fluxes data to validate land surface models requires that energy balance closure conservationis satisfied, but usually this condition is not verified when the available energy is bigger than the sumof turbulent vertical fluxes. In this work, a comprehensive evaluation of energy balance closure problems isperformed on a 2012 data set from Livraga obtained by a micrometeorological eddy covariance station locatedin a maize field in the Po Valley. Energy balance closure is calculated by statistical regression of turbulentenergy fluxes and soil heat flux against available energy. Generally, the results indicate a lack of closure witha mean imbalance in the order of 20%. Storage terms are the main reason for the unclosed energy balance butalso the turbulent mixing conditions play a fundamental role in reliable turbulent flux estimations. Recentlyintroduced in literature, the energy balance problem has been studied as a scale problem. A representativesource area for each flux of the energy balance has been analyzed and the closure has been performed infunction of turbulent flux footprint areas. Surface heterogeneity and seasonality effects have been studied to understand the influence of canopy growth on the energy balance closure. High frequency data have beenused to calculate co-spectral and ogive functions, which suggest that an averaging period of 30 min may misstemporal scales that contribute to the turbulent fluxes. Finally, latent and sensible heat random error estimationsare computed to give information about the measurement system and turbulence transport deficiencies


Eddy covariance technique; energy balance closure; Po Valley experimental site.

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